Sometimes, we all need an escape. To a place where the crowds melt away and are replaced with quiet coves, untouched countryside and peaceful restaurants.
When it comes to seeking solitude, there’s something about island life. Whisk yourself off to a far-flung spot, where blissful beaches and go-slow vibes are part and parcel.
Say hello to four of our favourite islands to simply get away from it all…
Set your sights on this dreamy Greek island. Life revolves around the mesmerising water here – fishermen trundle in and out of harbours with fresh catches and unspoilt beaches are lapped by a sea in the most beautiful aquamarine hue, that twinkles under the sunlight.
Most are drawn to this dinky isle for its stripped-back simplicity. Sit by the harbour in Sivota and sip an iced coffee, before heading off to one of the island’s most scenic spots, Agiofilli Beach. It’s also worth meandering into Lefkas’ wildly beautiful hinterland to scout out teeny traditional villages and visit vineyards with incredible views.
Malta & Gozo
Whisk yourself away to this unsung Mediterranean hero, in Europe’s southernmost reaches. Malta may be one of Europe’s best kept secrets, an island that truly wears its history on its sleeve. Take a wander around its stunning capital, Valletta, or picture-perfect Mdina, and you’ll find there’s a beautiful blend of architectural influences from the UK, Italy and France.
The time warp experience of its cities is part of Malta’s charm, but if you’re seeking utter seclusion, set your sights on Malta’s quieter neighbour, Gozo. Resorts are peppered among the hills and by hidden coves. You can spend your days snorkelling the incredible blue waters, vineyard hopping and exploring the quiet tangle of backstreets in the dinky capital, Victoria.
This Portuguese archipelago may have been flying under the radar for some time now, but that’s one of the reasons why you should head here for a laidback escape. With black-sand beaches, rugged mountains and ancient forest, Madeira’s a total showstopper when it comes to scenery.
While the capital, Funchal, charms with its colonial, colourful streets, this emerald paradise’s more peaceful patches can be found tucked into its valleys and along its coastline. Joy can be found trekking along lush levadas (narrow canals), sipping local tipples in its hilltop wineries and chasing the surf along the west coast.
Head-clearing is yours to enjoy in Menorca. The more peaceful island of the Balearic archipelago delivers a truly tranquil experience – a destination of dreams, where you’re never far from the sea. The south coast’s beaches will take your breath away, but some are quieter than others, making for an even more magical beach day. Make for Cala Mitjana and pad along the velvety sand into the azure waters.
When you’re not reclining on Menorca’s magnificent shores, wander Camí de Cavalls, a 185km route winding all the way around the island. You can amble through pinewoods, stumble upon secluded coves and pause to picnic among spectacular coastal scenery.
Posted: 4th May 2020.